Prenuptial agreements often have a bad reputation and are frequently misunderstood. They can be important tools to use to protect yourself and your assets going into a marriage. What's more: they offer transparency, and that's a good place to start a marriage.
At the Law Office of Amy Rimov, our attorneys can help you understand if a prenuptial agreement is right for you. Contact us online or at 509-835-5377 to schedule a consultation and learn more.
What are prenuptial agreements in Washington?
When two people are about to head down the aisle, they sometimes enter into a prenuptial agreement first. A prenuptial agreement is a before-marriage contract that lays out the specifics of what will happen to the property they own should the marriage fail.
Prenuptial agreements in most states can be used to address many different issues, including:
- What property should be considered marital and what should be considered separate. Instead of having a judge decide this matter pursuant to the laws of your state, you can decide beforehand.
- Protections for certain property. For example, if the engagement ring is a family heirloom on the spouse's side, the parties may agree that in the event of divorce, the ring goes back to the husband.
- You may agree that should one or both spouses want a divorce, the parties are required to go through mediation.
Prenuptial agreements in most states cannot be used to address certain issues, including:
- Custody and issues of child support are not allowed to be addressed in prenuptial agreements. The court will determine what is in the child's best interest, not the parents.
- Courts do not like provisions that address personal rather than financial issues. For example, a prenuptial agreement should not contain a provision stating where the parties will spend their Christmases.
- A prenuptial agreement should not be used to address anything that is illegal. For example, if the family earns money through the sale of illegal drugs, who gets that business in case of divorce is not allowed to be addressed.
To be sure your prenuptial agreement is enforceable, it is best to make the terms as fair as possible to both parties.
Who Should Have a Prenuptial Agreement?
While many people can benefit from the use of a prenuptial agreement, it is especially beneficial for people in the following situations:
- If you own a business, it is a good idea to look into a prenuptial agreement. This helps protect the business in case of divorce.
- If you own significant assets, a prenuptial agreement is a good idea to keep them protected.
- If you have children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can assist in protecting the inheritance of those children.
Contrary to popular opinion, prenuptial agreements aren't just for the wealthy. They can provide needed protection to people from all walks of life.
Do You Need a Washington Family Law Attorney for a Prenuptial Agreement?
While you may be tempted to draft your own prenuptial agreement before getting married, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney regarding how these contracts work in your state, including what you can and cannot address. Courts have a tendency to look for reasons to find these agreements unenforceable, so the help of an attorney is almost necessary to ensure your prenuptial agreement is upheld in case of divorce.
Contact a Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer Today
Protecting your assets and family are important. Make sure your prenuptial agreement is designed to do just that but in a way it complies with the law. Contact us either online or directly at (509) 835-5377 to schedule a consultation.